03/07/2011 10:02 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Mob Hitman, Joseph Meldish, Faces Life In Prison After '40 Murders': Police

After a career in crime that spans more than two decades, mob hitman Joseph Meldish has been brought to justice, authorities said.

Meldish faces life in prison when he's sentenced this week for the murder of Joey Brown in a botched mob hit in 1999.

The 55-year-old reputed hitman is suspected of committing close to 40 murders, beginning when he was convicted of manslaughter at 18.

Lt. Sean O'Toole of the Bronx Homicide Task Force said Meldish escaped prosecution because everyone was scared to testify against him, for fear of becoming his next target.

From the New York Post:

When it came to prosecuting the Purple Gang killer of Throgs Neck, "nobody wanted to be involved," O'Toole said.

Meldish is suspected of being involved in up to 40 murders, both for his own gang and for the Luchese and Genovese crime families, authorities said.

To read more about Meldish's unsavory history, see the Post's story here.